Bukidnon: The Food Basket of the Philippines

Situated on the island of Mindanao, the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines, Bukidnon is the home of numerous plantations such as Del Monte, Lapanday Diversified Products Corporation and Dole Philippines, which are engaged in pineapple, banana plantation among other tropical fruits.

Bukidnon is the country’s biggest producer of rice, corn, sugar, banana, coffee, rubber, cassava as well as pineapple, tomato and other fruits and vegetables. It is also a major producer of chicken, hogs and cattle. Flowers and floriculture abound, as its biodiversity and endemic species of flora and fauna is one of the richest in the country, making it a very attractive tourist destination. But the most noteworthy element of Bukidnon’s landscape is undoubtedly its dizzying pineapple plantations.

The first pineapple plantation of the region was established when Del Monte (Philippine Packing Corporation at the time) began its operations in 1926. The 5,000 hectares plantation is located in Camp Phillips, Barangay Agusan Canyon and their fruits are exported all around the world.

Rolando Gapud

The focal point of the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is Camp Phillips. This is where the plantation is administered and operations coordinated. At the entrance of the camp an imposing replica of pineapple welcomes visitors and tourists to a village of homogeneously built and colorful houses where officials and employees live.

Today, Del Monte owns and operates several companies in different countries, but its pineapple operations in Bukidnon remain a very big portion of their income, said Rolando Gapud, Chairman of Del Monte Pacific. In fact, the Del Monte plantation is the world’s largest integrated pineapple plantation.

Operations are so massive that Del Monte established a foundation (the Del Monte Foundation) to “provide housing, schooling and medical services to all 5000 employees and their families”, as explained by Rolando Gapud.

Rolando Gapud  has been the Chairman of Del Monte Pacific Limited since 2007 and prides himself on the positive impact the company has on the local community.

Although it is a predominantly rural province, Bukidnon has been, and will remain for many years to come, one of the pillars of the Philippine economy.

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